I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #1
Published by Golden Orb Press on August 15, 2016
Source: the author
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A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.
For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.
To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.
International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.
New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.
As a HUGE fan of A.G. Howard’s Splintered (YA) series, I had high expectations for this book. And I LOVED it! I loved the writing, the characters, the intrigue – basically, everything!
Anita’s writing has always been gorgeous – vivid and descriptive. Her way with words is such that I can picture everything as though I’m there, living out the story right alongside the characters. I didn’t think it was possible for her writing to get better, but it has! There was a maturity to the writing and the plot, even beyond the fact that this was a New Adult book.
The characters were incredible beyond words. Juliet is strong and determined. She doesn’t let her deafness hold her back, nor does she let it be used as an excuse when she does falter. She pushes herself to be the best she can be and she fights for those she loves. Hawk was hilarious and cheeky. He definitely reminded me of Morpheus from the Splintered series and he definitely ranks up there in Book Boyfriend material because of it.
On the other hand, Lord Thornton was… hard to read at times. Sometimes I liked him, other times I was very suspicious of his motives. I didn’t fully trust him for a long time, if ever. I wish I could say more about both Lord Thornton and Hawk because I truly loved them both and was satisfied with how their stories ended. But there was a big twist/revelation at the end that blew my mind and if I say much more, I’ll hit spoiler territory!
Like I mentioned before, the twists and revelations near the end were mind-blowing! I figured it out roughly two pages before the big reveal, but I was still blown away by everything involved with the revelation, including the potential consequences. I can’t be any more specific without spoilers, but trust me… MIND. BLOWING.
The ending was INCREDIBLY SATISFYING. It actually left me confused at first, because I knew this was a series but the ending was done so neatly, with all the loose ends tied up, I couldn’t imagine a second book being necessary – and then I read the synopsis for book two and it all made sense! Now I’m completely intrigued and excited to read the second book!
My only complaint is that the back and fourth of Juliet’s feelings for Lord Thornton (“Should I trust him? Actually, I do.. Wait, no, he just did something suspicious, so I don’t…But, wait, now he did something nice, I totally trust him again… Or not”) was a bit drawn out and became a little frustrating after awhile. And the book could have been a tad shorter and still incredible and satisfying.
Overall, this book was beyond incredible. A.G Howard is a gorgeous writer. Her writing and world-building sucks you in and refuses to let you go. Her characters feel like real people and you can’t help but become entangled in their well-being – whether for better or worse. I DEFINITELY recommend this book if you’re a fan of A.G. Howard or if you’re looking for an epic, intriguing New Adult book to read!